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College of the Canyons freshman runner Danielle Salcedo claimed the 2021 CCCAA Women's Cross Country Individual Championship with a time of 17:54.9 on the 5K course at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 20. Salcedo is the first women's cross country individual cross country state champion in school history. — Dean Lofgren/CCCAA
College of the Canyons freshman runner Danielle Salcedo claimed the 2021 CCCAA Women's Cross Country Individual Championship with a time of 17:54.9 on the 5K course at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 20. Salcedo is the first women's cross country individual cross country state champion in school history. — Dean Lofgren/CCCAA

Salcedo Runs to CCCAA Individual State Championship

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

FRESNO — College of the Canyons freshman Danielle Salcedo ran down history on Saturday, clocking a program-record time of 17.54.9 on the 5K course at Woodward Park to become the first California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Women's Cross Country Individual State Champion in school history.

Salcedo's state championship caps a season in which she also won the CCCAA Individual Southern California Regional Championship and Western State Conference (WSC) Individual title. 

She ran the entire 2021 season undefeated in community college competition, winning the Moorpark, Canyons, Oxnard and Mt. San Antonio College (SAC) Invitationals,a nd WSC Preview, meets along the way.

"To remain undefeated in community college competition is a challenge in any sport," said COC cross country and track & field head coach Lindie Kane. "Danielle remained focused and took the entire season one race at a time, which led to some outstanding results.

"She arrived at the state meet well prepared and with the confidence needed to become a state champion," added Kane. "It was exciting to watch Dani run with such success and a tremendous way to conclude our first season back in competition."

Salcedo was also named a JC All-American for her performance at the state championships. 

While she becomes the women's program's first individual state champion, Salcedo, who attended Saugus High School, follows a string of individual standout performances in Fresno.

In 2017, former Cougar runner Díani Ellis set a then program record with her time of 18:32.1 on the 5K course to place fifth overall and earn JC All-American honors. Dominique Dowell earned back-to-back JC All-American awards after placing 12th in 2013 and 10th in 2014 at the state meet. In 2015, it was sophomore Jessica Ruiz placing 10th overall (18:34.7) to lead the Cougars to a third-place state result.

Prior to Salcedo's run on Saturday, the program's all-time best result at the state meet came in 2005 when sophomore Jessica Gomez ran to a then school-record fourth place finish at a time of 18:58.5, also earning JC All-American honors.

COC's men cross country program boasts two individual CCCAA State Champions in Mike Martinez (1971) and Ethan Walker (2015), and men's team titles in 1975 and 2014.

Canyons finished ninth in the field of 20 teams at the 2021 state championship meet. That result was sixth best among Southern California schools. COC was also third among competing WSC programs. 

Freshman Milca Osorio was 40th overall at 20:00.2 to finish a very strong freshman campaign for the Cougars. She placed in the top five at four events this season including the WSC Championship meet.

Trinity Winslow was 93rd in the field of 154 with her time of 21:19. The freshman peaked in the second half of the season, posting a season-best time at the WSC championships then helping Canyons advance to the state meet.

COC sophomore Sarah Zamudio concluded her Cougars cross country career at her second state championship meet, crossing the line in 98th at 21:27.6. Zamudio was the lone returner from the Cougars' 2019 squad that also advanced to Fresno.

Freshman Jenny Thompson was 102nd with a time of 21:48.1 to finish her season after missing a six-week gap in the middle of the year. Thompson's return at the CCCAA SoCal Regionals helped get the Cougars back to the state meet.

Maylani Perez was clocked at 22:45.8 to round out the Cougars' scoring runners, narrowly missing out on a new season best time.

The Cougars arrived in Fresno ranked No. 9 in the state and No. 7 in Southern California. The trip to Woodard Park for the state meet was the seventh in program history (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021). COC athletic programs did not compete in 2020 due to cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mt. SAC won the women's team state title with a score of 63. Hartnell College (79) was runner-up followed by third place Riverside City College (130). Full women's team results are included here.

San Diego Mesa (50) was the men's state champion, followed by second place Mt. SAC (66) and third place Hartnell (91). Daniel Abdala of Mt. SAC won the individual state title with a time of 19:52.4. Full men's team results are included here.

Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.  

—Photo courtesy of Dean Lofgren/CCCAA